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Thread: Revolver kits?

  1. #1
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    Revolver kits?

    I've done a little gun refinishing and enjoy working with metal and wood. I'm looking for pistol kits but I'm having a difficult time finding any. Anyone know if such a thing is available?

    Let me clarify: I am NOT looking for black powder, 1800s Colt-type pistol kits. I'm looking for kits for more modern revolvers which are capable of shooting .38, 9mm, .357 and the like.

    Finally, if such kits do exist, does anyone know if there's such a thing as an 80% revolver receiver/frame?

  2. #2
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    About the only kits are for the 1911.
    Trouble is, those are almost always a less than high quality slides and frames with the rest being "gun show" quality crappy cast parts.

    These can be assembled into a shooting gun, but you do need to really know the 1911 to be able to fit the low quality parts that are always out of spec in at least some areas. When all the parts are out of specification, as all cheap parts are, it makes it extremely difficult to get sub-assemblies to fit and operate properly.

    A better idea is to buy a good quality slide and frame, then buy higher quality, name brand parts. This makes assembly much easier.
    To do this, start out by buying the Jerry Kuhnhausen book "The .45 Automatic: A Shop Manual, Volume One".
    This will show you how to gunsmith the 1911.
    (Volume Two is mostly specifications of parts. One is more useful for a builder).

    Second, get a copy of the Brownell's catalog. This is a gunsmith's parts and tool source.
    Buy the Kuhnhausen book or anything else, and they'll give you a free catalog:

    http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1...__45_AUTOMATIC

    I recommend in not getting "cute" the first build. Attempting to assemble a 1911 while also trying to install non-standard custom parts makes the job very difficult for a non-gunsmith with experience.
    If you want to try this, start off with building a standard Government Model, then after you have a properly working gun, you can customize it.
    Also, use only name brand, high quality parts. These are almost always in spec, and this makes solving assembly problems easier.

    As for other caliber guns, unless they're a 1911 design, there just isn't much. Due to parts source problems and costs, there just isn't anything much available.
    No one sells usable gun kits for most other designs, since there is seldom a usable frame available for something like a Beretta, Browning, or S&W.
    In those cases, if the frame is any good, its usually already assembled into a working gun.

    For revolvers, this really isn't possible unless you're a genuine expert gunsmith who happens to have bins full of spare parts.
    Revolvers are unlike autos in that all major components, like the barrel and cylinder assembly, are hand fitted, with little to no "drop in" parts.

    In order to build a revolver, you first have to have a good frame. Most good frames are already assembled as a working gun, or else the frames are defective scrap that someone is selling as good.
    There is no such thing as a 80% or otherwise unfinished double action revolver frame.
    I don't recall seeing any semi-finished single action frames. If there were, they still need to be properly hardened, which is beyond the capabilities of all but a few hobbyists with the money to afford a heat treating furnace.

    Next, you have to have parts that are capable of being used. Often, parts like cylinders simply are not usable, since they were already fitted to another frame and are now undersized and won't work.
    For this reason, you'd need to have bins full of parts to allow selecting parts that can be fitted. Even the revolver parts sets you often see have already been fitted to a now-scrapped frame, so many of the parts simply won't fit another frame at all.

    While it's "possible" to build a revolver, in the real world it just doesn't work out.

    In all cases, you will not save any money over buying a working gun.
    In the case of a 1911, you do have the fun of learning the 1911 intimately, and have the pride of having a gun you assembled.

  3. #3
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    I know of 1911 and black powder revolver kits. I specifically do not want those - I'm looking for a 'modern revolver' kit. You know, like you can piece together pretty much every other firearm type these days.

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    Caimlas,

    You are hunting for a non-existent item!

    S&W, Ruger, and Charter Arms are NOT going to make kits, it takes too much skill to set up a double action revolver and they would get too many returns. Besides which, they need the production for the firearms they are putting out, no spare capacity to make something like you are looking for.

    Taurus is even worse, they WON'T sell parts to gunsmiths or firearms owners for their own firearms! You must return to the factory for anything with them.

    The ONLY hope you have is the "conversion revolver" niche. Some sell conversion parts and conversion cylinders to make the C&B revolvers into copies of the early cartridge conversions.

    You are hunting for something you are NEVER going to find. You would not have the tools to finish an 80% revolver frame and they are NOT going to sell you a new 100% frame when they can build it into a complete firearm and sell it for more that way.

    No matter how many times you ask, you are going to get the SAME answer, they are NOT OUT THERE!

    You are also skating right on the edge of excise tax problems for "constructing firearms" Watch that carefully also.

    Buckshot

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    Quote Originally Posted by No3buckshot View Post
    You are also skating right on the edge of excise tax problems for "constructing firearms" Watch that carefully also.
    They want excise tax on firearms made for personal use now?

    If they don't, how is he "skating"?

    (Did I miss something here?)
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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    There are double action revolver "kits" out there, but these are actually the parts from a de-milled (destroyed) police revolver.

    Many police departments in these politically correct times won't sell their old guns when they replace them with new guns, they have them cut up fro scrap.
    The people who buy them from the departments strip all the parts off before trashing the frames.

    Problem is, as I said above, these parts have already BEEN fitted.... to a different frame. Once altered, many of them simply won't fit a different frame.
    Another problem is, in spite of what the sellers say, most of these parts did not come off the same frame. The sellers make up "kits" and if a part is rusty or damaged, they just drop another part in the box.

    People who manage to find a revolver frame in a gun show or shop junk bin figure they can buy one of these kits, slip the parts in and have a working revolver.
    Doesn't work.
    Again, revolvers are not like automatic pistols. Revolvers are very "old school" and require individual custom hand fitting during assembly.

    As example, when you screw on the barrel, it'll screw on with the front sight not at 12:00 o'clock. It has to be fitted to a frame by using a lathe to cut the barrel shoulder.
    Then you need a barrel vise and a special frame wrench to torque the barrel in place.
    Try the old hammer handle through the frame window, and the stress causes the frame to either bend (tweak) or actually break right through the under side of the threaded portion.

    After you get the barrel on, the job isn't finished, its just begun. Then you have to have a special tool that works down the bore to cut the barrel/cylinder gap, and another tool to cut the forcing cone in the barrel rear, plus a special plug gage to measure the cone.
    All these tools cost real money, and you simply can't do it without them.

    To give an example of assembling a revolver from some kind of kit.
    Imagine you're going to build a car engine from parts WITHOUT any special tools or without any fitting.
    You have a block from one car, a crank shaft from another, 6 cylinders; none from the same engine, and a carburetor from some other car.
    For tools you have a rasp file, a Crescent wrench and a screwdriver.

    You're going to install all the parts with no fitting, fire it up and take it out on the highway at 80 miles an hour.
    Sorry, it ain't gonna happen.

  7. #7
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    Nailoth said
    They want excise tax on firearms made for personal use now?

    If they don't, how is he "skating"?

    (Did I miss something here?)
    All he has to do is let one go without the excise tax and he is nailed.

    Remember, they are now collecting tax for MANUFACTURING if you take an existing action and modify it into a new firearm, as in sporterizing a military rifle.

    Buckshot

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by No3buckshot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nalioth View Post
    They want excise tax on firearms made for personal use now?

    If they don't, how is he "skating"?

    (Did I miss something here?)
    All he has to do is let one go without the excise tax and he is nailed.

    Remember, they are now collecting tax for MANUFACTURING if you take an existing action and modify it into a new firearm, as in sporterizing a military rifle.

    Buckshot
    If he builds it for "himself", he's fine. There are no laws in this country as to how long you have to keep a firearm you built for yourself.

    Now if he builds it "for a friend" or "to sell", yeah, he might have a problem.

    I love "IFs" (usually the odds are astronomical of the dreaded "if sitation" becoming reality)
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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    kits

    He said "kits" means he wants to make them and sell.BY BY.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    He said "kits" means he wants to make them and sell.BY BY.
    I understand completely now.

    There has only been one revolver model ever built.

    He is obviously crazy in not realizing this.


    DUHR!

    Do you think he might want to build different models for himself?

    Wow, we think of the criminal in EVERYONE today, don't we?
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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  11. #11
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    Uh, I have no intention in selling whatever I made. An assumption like that is crazy talk.

    I'd wanted to make a revolver for mine. It'd likely sit in a case if I did a good job on it.

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    "...There are double action revolver "kits" out there..." Where and sold by who?
    There are no kits to build a modern revolver, like there are for BP firearms, but you can buy all the parts. You'd have to go through an FFL dealer for a frame. Like dfariswheel says, all the parts will require fitting. And one special tools is required for an S&W revolver. $20 for a rebound spring tool from Brownells.
    If you've ever seen the inside of a Colt revolver, you'll run away screaming.

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    If he builds it for "himself", he's fine. There are no laws in this country as to how long you have to keep a firearm you built for yourself.
    I believe the whole implication of "a firearm you built for yourself" is that you keep it for your entire life. Don't think disposal is allowed.
    "Never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes; Then you're a mile away and you have his shoes." --Fenton J. Pennypacker III

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    The ATF has specific rules if you later decide to sell it. Making something with the intent to sell is called "manufacturing", making it for personal use is called "making". http://www.homegunsmith.com has a good legal section that goes into detail about this.

    http://www.cncguns.com/forum/index.php is also a good place for homemade firearms.
    www.freestateproject.org - "Liberty in your lifetime."

    What kind of major cognitive dysfunction is required in order to believe that Airplane Pictures, proven homicidal dictators and mass-murdering terrorists will become reasonable people if given half a chance, while simultaneously believing that your friends, relatives, Airplane Pictures, and neighbors, whom you've known all your life, will become bloodthirsty killers if given half a chance?

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    Thank you, dustind.

    As usual, F-Troop assumes more authority than they actually have and bullies us into thinking we cannot do something which is entirely legal. Firearms, homemade or not, are private property and not contraband. Therefore, they can be treated like any other private property for the most part.

    Two salient points:

    First, regulation of firearms is largely based on (a) the taxation of the means for exercising a civil right, and (b) an egregious interpretation of the interstate commerce clause in the US Constitution.

    Second, if we banded together and filed lawsuits against the insane rulings from this department the way the the eco-nuts do to the EPA, we could be bleeding their budget dry and get some of the crap overturned. In about 5-6 years we could make them second guess every move they make. Alas, we have neither the cohesion nor the persistence that the eco-nuts have.
    "There is no lie too grotesque, too stupid, or too base for leftist extremists to retell." -- Standing Wolf

    Posted from my Ubuntu machine.

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